Salman's son Crown Prince Mohammed
Salman's son Crown Prince Mohammed is the 'de facto' ruler of Saudi Arabia. Photo: Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia is banning flogging as a punishment. The country’s court has given a special verdict. On Friday, various international news outlets reported seeing a document from the country’s Supreme Court in this regard.

According to Reuters, the Supreme Court of the most influential Muslim country in the Middle East has ordered that the perpetrator be sentenced to imprisonment or a fine instead of flogging.

The decision comes as part of a human rights reform drive by Saudi King Salman and his son Mohammed, they said.

Salman’s son Crown Prince Mohammed is the ‘de facto’ ruler of Saudi Arabia; Since taking office, she has banned women from driving, watching games on the field, obtaining passports without parental approval, and traveling abroad. After three and a half decades of holding his hand, the cinema halls of the country have also come into operation.

However, the persecution of dissidents and the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashugazi at the Saudi embassy in Turkey have tarnished Salman’s image, the BBC reports.

Human rights activists say freedom of expression is strictly controlled in Saudi Arabia. If you take a stand against the ruling party, you will be imprisoned.

Whipping of criminals is also a regular occurrence in the country. The sentence was overturned after widespread criticism around the world and reports that Rife had died of whipping.

Al-Jazeera quoted observers as saying that Saudi Arabia’s decision to lift the flogging to fix the statue had not diminished state repression of dissidents and women’s rights activists. A prominent educationist and human rights activist died in the country’s jails on Friday.

Although he was pronounced dead at the scene due to a brain hemorrhage, colleagues say the prominent man died of health and medical negligence. The Saudi rulers are responsible for his death.